Today’s economic news may be gloom and doom but it needn’t derail your summer job hunt.
However, this summer finding that perfect job will be much harder because there will be fewer jobs. According to Workopolis Canada’s Tanya Cumming, students will have to get smarter with their job-search strategies.
“They will have to use their search skills and go-over-and-beyond this year if they want something different,” she said.
Even finding customer service jobs this summer will be more difficult because less employers are looking for staff and in-turn, people who have jobs are hanging on to them, Cumming explained.
“Employers are also experiencing an increase in application volume because of the recession, which also makes the competition harder,” Cumming said.
Here are some links to some employment websites:
But with that said, summer employment is still very possible and here are some tips from Cumming to help you in your search:
1. Research Recession Proof Industries— Start at the beginning, by looking at careers that are stable and secure. Teaching, nursing, defence industry jobs— these are some of the most “recession-proof” sectors as there will always be a need for those professions. To learn more, do some Googling.
2. Change Your Focus — Start asking yourself the question, “What’s in it for them?” as opposed to, “What’s in it for me?” Especially in an economic downturn, you’ll want to stay focused on what you can accomplish for your next employer. Show them that you understand the macroeconomic “bigger picture” of the role you play in moving the company forward. This ability to put their needs first may give you an edge over other applicants.
3. Sell Results, Not Skills — Leave behind that old mindset that your job-related skills or length of service are selling factors. The new mindset is to think of yourself as a mini profit-and-loss centre rather than just an employee. Employers today buy results and are less impressed with candidates promoting a long laundry list of skills. You’ll want to define the many ways your past and present job performances are assets to your next employer.
4. Focus on Achievements— Skills are great, but they are also a dime a dozen in today’s economy. What your future employer wants to know is that you have a record for success. Rethink your resume in terms of measurable achievements. Instead of saying you “managed” something, write that you “increased efficiency by 15 per cent.” Instead of noting that you were responsible for overseeing the budgets, highlight how you saved your company thousands of dollars.
5. Volunteer — What if you don’t have measurable achievements? Remember, there is a success story to be told from any job — even (and especially) the minimum wage ones. But another way to fill out your resume with relevant job experience is to volunteer. College internships qualify in this category. At a time when budgets are tight and funding is drying up, private companies and non-profit organizations are looking for talent that doesn’t cost them a fortune. There are many benefits to being a volunteer or an intern: It is a great way to gain some real experience (and measurable achievements), and maybe even to get your foot in the door with a future employer.
6. Network, network, network — Today, more than ever, jobs are being offered to known candidates. It means interviewing and selecting people that have a “known” quality — someone who can vouch for them. Someone that your future boss can trust. So open up your contacts list and start making calls.
7. Freelance — If you can find freelance opportunities than it’s a great idea to take them during this downturn.
8. Stay optimistic — Feeling depressed and down-trodden will show in your interactions with network connections and potential future employers so throw a smile on and remember to be positive.
In summary, don’t let all the hype about the recession spook you into a state of panic. By revising your tactics to include a more solution-selling approach to employers, you stand a better chance of getting hired in today’s faltering economy.